Plan to help very small businesses emerge from the crisis extended

The business support plan had been set up in 2021 to support companies impacted by the health crisis and identify their difficulties. Although it was due to end on June 30, 2022, it has now been extended to 2023 due to the war in Ukraine, which has had an impact on raw material prices.

Helping very small businesses emerge from the crisis

With the aim of supporting the end of the crisis and limiting the consequences of the health crisis on companies, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Eric Dupond-Moretti, Minister of Justice, announced in June 2021, the implementation of a national support plan. This aims to detect difficulties encountered by companies in advance, to guide these players in fragile situations and to offer them a suitable solution.

One of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis was industry, where successive containment measures and the global economic recovery led to major supply difficulties. This led to longer delivery times, higher prices and supply disruptions.

Affected companies can now benefit from a range of measures, such as the industrial loan operated by Bpifrance. This scheme is aimed at industrial companies seeking support in financing their working capital requirements and strengthening their financial structure. The business support plan also provides for the extension of state-guaranteed loans, repayable advances and subsidized loans, as well as the continuity of the long-term partial activity scheme.

These measures are accompanied by the implementation of a crisis management system co-constructed with socio-professional organizations, and advisory services deployed by Bpifrance.

A plan extended twice to 2022

The government had announced the extension of the business support plan until June 30, 2022, as well as the easing of conditions for the granting of repayable advances for industrial companies most vulnerable to supply tensions.

In the middle of the year, at a time when priority had been given to the purchasing power of the French, the executive announced a further extension of the mission to support companies in difficulty.

At the time, the Ministers of the Economy and Justice considered that " the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine could lead to new difficulties for companies, with inflation in input costs, supply shortages and cash flow tensions ".

Bercy has taken stock of the measures proposed as part of the business support plan. It emerged that the PGE Résilience created in April 2022 to cover up to 15% of beneficiaries' annual sales, has proved effective, with nearly 10,000 companies able to take advantage of it.

Offering a tailored, operational solution for every company

The current energy crisis is having a particularly severe impact on the cash flow of small and medium-sized businesses. Against this backdrop, the Ministries of the Economy and Justice have decided to extend for the 3rd time the business support plan, which mobilizes all public (URSSAF, Banque de France, CCI France, etc.) and private (professional business federations, etc.) partners, with the aim of offering each company a tailored, operational solution.

Since the creation of the plan, new aids have been made available to small and medium-sized businesses. These include the Tariff Shield, which helps keep electricity price rises to 4%. This aid is aimed at companies with fewer than 10 employees, sales of less than €2 million and an electricity meter with a capacity of less than 36 kVA.

Another scheme: theelectricity buffer. Coming into force on January 1, 2023, it aims to protect companies with the highest energy contracts by offering a higher unit aid ceiling. The ceiling is defined by an indicator appearing on quotes and invoices issued by energy suppliers. To benefit from the electricity buffer, you need to be a VSE or SME with fewer than 250 employees, not be eligible for the tariff shield and have an electricity meter with a power rating greater than 36 kVA.

The business support plan is accompanied by a series of measures to help businesses cope with rising prices.